Western Australia
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Featuring Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, former Chief of Army; Adam Goodes, CEO and Director, Indigenous Defence Consortium; Mark Brewer, Brigadier and Commandant, Royal Military College, Duntroon; Warrant Officer Class One, Kenneth Nelliman, Regimental Sergeant Major, Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka. © AWM
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Crown Perth Limited
Great Eastern Highway
Event Partner & Sponsors:  WA DEFENCE REVIEW
Category:  Special Event
The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia in conjunction with WA DEFENCE REVIEW are pleased to invite you for a unique event.

As the impetus for closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage continues nationwide, the Australian Army, being the first equal opportunity employer of Indigenous Australians, remains a leading proponent of enhancing Indigenous representation and integration via cultural change and specialised programs. Presently there are 748 Indigenous people, or 2.5%, serving in the Australian Regular Army. This represents a numerical increase of 1.4% since 2007. As per the Army Indigenous Strategy released in September 2016, efforts are now in place to further enhance Indigenous representation in the Army to 5% by 2025. Indeed, the Army’s relative success increasing Indigenous participation and retention provides lessons for government and industry more broadly.

Similarly, defence industry in Australia, which employs tens of thousands of people, has the capacity to play a key supporting role to Defence in closing the gap. The advent of the Indigenous Procurement Policy or IPP, launched in 2015 by the Commonwealth Government, sets targets upon government departments to engage Indigenous-owned businesses. In the first 18 months of operation the IPP has delivered more than 1500 direct and indirect contracts flowing to almost 500 Indigenous-owned businesses, valued at more than $248 million. As WA’s defence industry enters a new era of growth and prosperity, it is increasingly in a position to engage Indigenous-owned businesses, and be part of the solution towards addressing Indigenous disadvantage.

Our four expert presenters are:


Lieutenant General Peter Leahy (Retd), former Chief of Army (c.2002-2008)

After a career as a soldier spanning 37 years, Peter Leahy retired from the Army in July 2008. He concluded his career in the Army with the rank of Lieutenant General after a six-year appointment as the Chief of Army. Since leaving the Army he has joined the University of Canberra as a Professor and the foundation Director of the National Security Institute.


Adam Goodes, CEO and Director, Indigenous Defence Consortium

As the 2014 Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes is a name synonymous with great Australian Athletes with a professional football career that spans more than 18 years. Since his retirement from the AFL, Adam co-founded of the Indigenous Defence Consortium (IDC) to continue his passion for empowering the next generation of Indigenous role models to achieve economic independence. As an Andyamathanha and Norungga man born in Wallaroo South Australia, Adam is proud of his Aboriginal heritage. Working closely with federal and state Government, heads of corporate industry and prime contractors; as CEO of the IDC Adam and the team are at the forefront of change.

Mark Brewer, Brigadier and Commandant, Royal Military College, Duntroon

Brigadier Mark Brewer is an experienced Army training leader and as Commandant Royal Military College of Australia, where he commands the Army Training Formation responsible for Army recruit and officer training. The Royal Military College of Australia also manages Army Indigenous Development and Indigenous Pre-Recruit programs which are delivered across Australia.

Warrant Officer Class One, Kenneth Nelliman, Regimental Sergeant Major, Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka.

Warrant Officer Class One Kenneth Nelliman is a veteran cavalry soldier. He has extensive experience in recruiting, training delivery and operations. He is currently the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Recruit Training Centre at Kapooka, near Wagga New South Wales. As the Regimental Sergeant Major since January 2017, he has hands on experience of the Army Indigenous Development and Indigenous Pre-Recruit programs and the challenges of Army recruit training. He is a proud Torres Strait Islander and Army senior soldier.

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